Top Tips to Add New Life to Your Kitchen

Considering how much use the home kitchen receives, it is no surprise why so many homeowners choose this room as their primary focus when wanting to renovate. However, this is also one of the most expensive as well as difficult areas to change within a home. Thus, many have the feeling of getting that fresh look is out of arm’s reach. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to give your kitchen a new life without breaking the bank. The following list includes a few tips to accomplish this very goal.

Soften Your Kitchen

When people think about the home kitchen, more often than not cozy isn’t the word used. Understandably, kitchens must contain a lot of hard surfaces and patterns. From a large fridge to open countertops, these hard patterns are a must-have for any kitchen. However, this does not mean you can’t soften it up a bit. One of the best ways to soften up the kitchen is to add an area rug or runner. Not only can you add color to your kitchen, but it can also serve to make it cozy. If you are worried about slips and spills, many experts recommend choosing low pile or flat weave textures.

More Storage

Often it is not the look of your kitchen that is making it look dull rather all the items laid out across the room. One of the best ways to add new life to your kitchen is to incorporate additional storage. However, before you start looking into the type of shelves and cabinets, you might want to change, always keep in mind a few things. For cabinets handle placement is more complex than you think, so you need to plan for plenty of space.

Change the Color

You would be surprised how much of a positive change a few coats of paint can do to your kitchen. This is a great way to make major changes to your kitchen without breaking the bank. Often times you can make considerable changes the look of your kitchen by simply painting the lower or upper border as well as your cabinets.

Upgrading and giving your kitchen a new life is no easy task, but it is certainly not impossible. Through implementing the right strategies and taking some of the tips posted above, you can begin accomplishing this goal within your own kitchen.

9 Things Homeowners Should Know About Modular Garages

Garages are wonderful in that they can store a number of things such as your car, household tools, equipment, and much more. While traditional garages are built on-site and can even be attached to your home, modular garages, although they can serve the same purpose, are quite different in how they are built. If you are interested in getting a modular garage for your property, there are a few things that you should know.

What Exactly is a Modular Garage?

Modular garages are typically built inside of a factory and then transported to your property. Building in such a way can be very beneficial in that it is better for the environment, saves time, and in most cases can save you lots of money. However, don’t think that a modular garage doesn’t require anything other than purchasing and shipping. Although these garages are pre-built, they are often transported in parts that must be assembled on the property.

How to Make it Fit Your House

While there are some limitations to customizing a modular garage, there are plenty of ways to make it match the look and feel of the rest of your property. When deciding on the appearance you want for your garage, you can choose a finish that is cohesive with the color and style of your home. Although certain finishes may cost more, matching your modular garage appearance with your home’s aesthetic not only looks nice, it can also help to add value to your property. Since adding a garage can significantly increase the value of your home, by building a modular garage, you can benefit from the increase without spending nearly as much as you would for a traditional garage.

Customization

While you can definitely design your modular garage anyway that you choose, customizing it will definitely increase the cost. One of the reasons modular garages are so affordable is that they usually come in a generic design that requires little more than a quick off-site build and a simple assembly. Changing the finishes and materials to a customized look can definitely add more curb appeal to your project, however, be prepared to pay a bit more.

Durability

Although modular garages are not typically as durable as traditionally built garages, depending on the materials that you choose as well as the finishes, you can increase the durability and strength of your modular garage. There are a few materials and finishes to choose from such as wood, steel, aluminum, and more. Generally, modular garages that are made without any customization are coated with basic material that may not necessarily be suitable for extreme weather conditions. If you want your modular garage to last a very long time, you should consider the type of finish that is best for the particular region that you live in.

Wood

One of the least expensive materials to build your modular garage with is wood. You can either have this type of modular garage as a stand-alone or attached. This can be a great option if you are simply looking for a place to store your car or some tools. Another benefit of choosing a wooden modular garage is, although you may still be required to obtain a permit, you might not have to deal with zoning issues. However, make sure to check with the authorities in your area and find out what specific documents they require.

Steel

If you need lots of space, a steel modular garage may be just right for you. These types of garages can be built extremely wide and they are much stronger than the average wooden garage. While these particular modular garages are normally for industrial use, steel garages offer many more design options than those made of wood. They can be built with multiple stories, and even have plumbing installed as well. Depending on what your needs are, a steel garage may be right for you, however, you should make sure to check your zoning codes and restrictions.

Preparing the Site

Now that you’ve chosen your modular garage, you have to properly prepare the area where the garage will be placed. You’ll want to make sure that the ground is nicely compacted as well as leveled off so that you can form a nice solid and secure slab on top. If you are using a modular garage kit and plan to do the assembly yourself, then you may have to rent the equipment, or you can hire someone to bulldoze the ground for you. After the ground is prepared, a foundation will need to be installed and before the garage can be set on it.

Setting It Down

After your foundation has been properly laid, you can then begin to get your modular garage prepared to either be set on the concrete or assembled. If your unit arrived whole, then you will need to use a crane so that the garage may be lifted and placed onto the concrete. However, if yours requires assembly, then now the fun of seeing your garage come to life begins. You may want to enlist the help of some friends as these pieces are quite large and can be awkward when trying to maneuver with just a couple of people. With some help, this project should only take you a couple of days to complete.

Maintenance

If you want to enjoy your modular garage for years to come, it is important that you take care of it properly. If you have a steel garage, you want to make sure that the paint is not chipping since any exposed steel can lead to corrosion. Also, you want to keep the drainage clear so that rainwater is flowing away and not onto any parts of the structure.

Although modular garages may not be your typical type of garage, they can still last just as long when taken care of properly. By using the right materials and practicing routine maintenance and care, your modular garage can be one of the best home improvement projects you ever complete.

Read more about garage projects: 5 Ways You Should Show Some Love To Your Garage

Landscape Designs That Protect Your Home While Looking Amazing

Smart homeowners are becoming savvy when they look for landscaping designs that multitask. Of course, they want awesome curb appeal, but they also want a lay of the land that protects their properties as well. Here are some ideas to keep in mind.

Terracing

Terracing can add value to your home in several ways. According to Home Stratosphere, terracing that’s done well can add value like curb appeal, but it can also prevent erosion if the property is on a slope. Also, water can be routed away from the foundation of the home. Depending on the materials of your home’s exterior, retaining walls can be made of the same or coordinating materials for visual appeal. Terraced beds for gardening are another element that can add pleasure as well as function. Vegetable, herbal and flower gardens all can be terraced, allowing rainwater to be guided to them and away from the foundation of your home.

Windbreak

With proper selection of trees and space, according to The Tree Center, creating a natural windbreak can be another energy-saving and visually appealing addition to your home’s landscape. If properly planted, the trees can create a natural fence line that also acts as a wind, visual, sound, and smell barrier. Flowering trees will add beauty in the spring while evergreens will add color and privacy all year. Research which trees will work well in your area before planting them to make sure they will thrive in the local environment.

Rolling Hills

If your property is relatively flat, you may want to consider adding some dimension. According to Brown Concrete and Backhoe, rolling hills can be strategically designed and shaped to direct water away from a house and its foundation. They do this by giving your residential property a way to let the water flow as well as eliminating standing water from your property’s buildings. This also adds an additional curb appeal statement that will make your home distinct from surrounding properties and more visually appealing.

When thinking of landscaping, be sure to consider the practical as well as the visual aspects. Check with local landscape designers for their recommendations concerning plants as well as layout. Consider making low-maintenance choices when selecting materials for terracing. Pick plants that are perennial for flower and herb beds. Check for fruit trees or shrubs that can double as windbreaks or privacy fences. Being smart with your landscaping can even pay for itself over time as it adds value to your property now and later.

How to Choose the Perfect Carpet for Your Living Room

Whether you are in the midst of a complete remodel or just freshening up your floors, new carpeting can be one of the most important purchases you make for your home. New flooring can freshen up any living space and provide the look you crave in your home, but you must be careful in selecting the right carpet.

Color

The first thing you and your guests will notice about your brand-new carpet is the color. You will want to write down a list of your preferences. If you gravitate towards bold colors, go for it. This can be somewhat of a risky choice, but when done right, it can provide a pop of color with plenty of personality. If neutral is more your style, decide what shades you prefer, lighter or darker. Neutrals tend to be less risky and thus much more popular inside homes, particularly tans and grays. They provide a softer touch than a brisk white while helping to hide those pesky stains. Also, if you have kids or pets around, consider carpet with flecks of color to help hide any dirt, food or other stains that find their way onto your floor.

Texture

While color will be the first thing your eyes notice about the carpet, the first thing your feet will notice is the texture. There are many styles to choose from, so consider one that not only you will find comfortable, but that suits your style of décor. Frieze is a shag carpet with long, twisted fibers. This carpet offers a cozy feel. Saxony is probably the most common style and is neither long or short but perfectly in the middle. Therefore, it works with many different styles of home decor. Cut and loop can be found in many textures and designs, with some fibers cut and others looped. It works well with many styles of home as well but particularly with industrial or modern styles. Berber used to be known as a white carpet with some dark spots but now has a looped style in a variety of colors and sizes. This is a great carpet for offices, basements and other less frequently visited areas of the home. With all the colors and styles available today, the right choice can work in any area of the home.

Shape

Another consideration when selecting your new carpet is the shape of the rooms the carpet will be placed in. Many of the rooms in your home will likely be square or rectangular, but what do you do if your room is not a basic shape? There are several options. You can trim a square carpet in order to make it fit a uniquely shaped room. Consider adding a rug to your carpet purchase to help trick the eye into seeing balance in the room. According to Flooring America, Carpet also can be cut to fit into any nooks and crannies in your home.

Room Use

Before heading out to purchase your new carpet, one last thing you should consider is the amount of traffic in the rooms that will be receiving new carpet. A room with high traffic will need a carpet that can withstand lots of use while still looking fresh for any guests.

The purchase of new carpet is an exciting one for you and your family. When done correctly, it will add the perfect touch to your home for years to come.

Ways You Can Make Your Yard More Environmentally Friendly

When it comes to gardening, “going green” means more than just planting shrubs and greenery. In fact, there are many ways in which you can make your yard more environmentally friendly. Following a few eco-friendly yard maintenance tips will not only help the environment but will also lower your water bill. Take a look at these three tips for making your yard more environmentally friendly.

Use Less Water

Plants need water to thrive, but watering your yard eats up a lot of water and generates high water bills. This is especially true when the weather is hot and dry, since you’ll need to make up for the lack of rain. Luckily, there are many ways you can reduce the amount of water your garden needs. One popular method is by building a rain barrel. A rain barrel catches water during rainstorms so you can fill up your watering can during dry spells. You can also cut down on watering by “planting” artificial grass. Celebrity Greens explains that using synthetic and artificial grass reduces the cost and amount you spend on water every year, making a positive impact on the environment.

Start a Compost Pile

As far as eco-friendly practices go, starting a compost pile is a two-for-one deal. First, according to Wellseek, composting your food waste is a great way to put that trash to use, so it doesn’t end up in a landfill. Second, compost is a great eco-friendly alternative for fertilizers and chemicals. To get started, simply install a compost bin in a sunny, warm part of your yard. You can throw in lots of things you’d normally put in the trash, including scraps of fruits and veggies, eggshells, coffee grounds, and even cardboard. In a few months, you’ll have a pile of rich, healthy compost to work with.

Use a Reel Mower

A reel mower is a simple push mower that doesn’t rely on an external source of power like gas or electricity. Instead, the rotating blade spins as you push it through it your yard, chopping down grass and weeds as you go. Planet Natural explains that not only does a reel mower save gas, it also reduces the amount of toxic gasses being released into your yard. Using a reel mower is an easy way to help the environment by improving air quality.

Making your yard more environmentally friendly is easy with these three tips. Plus, an eco-friendly yard will help you save money while you save the earth! Whether it’s cutting down on your water consumption or re-using your food scraps, there are many ways to make your yard more environmentally friendly.

A fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior can really make a difference to the way your property looks, just like your yard care efforts. Contact us today to see how we can help your home look its best!

What to Know About Doing Pest Prevention Yourself

Even in the best-kept homes, pests can become a problem. If you encounter this sort of nuisance, your first reaction might be to contact an exterminator as soon as possible; however, you can save considerable money and time by doing some pest control yourself. Here are a few ways you can prevent pests and stop infestations before they start.

Prevention Saves Money

Prevention is always more effective and less time-consuming than treating a pest infestation. Luckily, there are several easy steps you can take to keep pests out of your home. Especially for larger pests like mice and rats, it’s important to seal any entry points that may give them access to your house. There are also steps you can take to make your home less attractive to pests in the first place. Clean up your kitchen immediately after preparing food, and make sure to keep dry goods sealed. Even leftover traces may be enough to attract ants and other bugs. As you clean up food, be sure to not leave standing water. Even small amounts of water can sometimes be enough to draw fruit flies.

Small Details

As you pest-proof your home, don’t forget to pay attention to even the smallest of details. Covering furniture, especially when moving or when you’ll be gone for a long period of time, makes infestations of bedbugs and other small pests less likely. Even something as simple as a cover for a hot tub can help prevent pests from infesting. When you want to keep pests out, vigilance is important. It helps to regularly check your home for little details you may have missed.

Using Supplies You Have

You’ve probably seen bait for mice, rats and other pests sold in supermarkets. However, these are often relatively expensive, and you can save money by using what you already have at home. Peanut butter and corn chips are both excellent attractants when you want to lure mice to a trap. Plus, you only need a small dab of peanut butter or a few crumbs of corn chips for this to work. If you’re especially crafty, there are plenty of resources online that can teach you how to build your own traps out of items you already have around the house. Preventing pests and trapping them as they arrive are important parts of home maintenance, but they don’t have to be expensive or consume a large portion of your time. By taking simple steps now, you can save yourself time, money and stress down the line.

Pests are one of the signs that something isn’t quite right in your home so act fast! If you’re interested in knowing about other hidden potential problems in your home, check out our article on it here!

Plumbing Issues You Should Always Take Care Of

Plumbing issues can involve a number of different scenarios. You might have something as simple as a leaky faucet. You could also have a pipe burst in your home or office. When these problems occur, it’s incredibly important that they are taken care of immediately. If you neglect to have them fixed by a professional, this can lead to major damage to your property.

Change in Water Pressure

A change in water pressure can mean a few different things. Sometimes, this can indicate that there is a problem within your local area. If there was a water main break nearby, this can cause water pressure to drop as the repair is made. If there isn’t something going on locally, you could have a leak or break in your own water system. It’s a good idea to have a professional come look at the problem. You might not notice water leaking anywhere within the home, but you don’t want to wait too long to have a problem addressed.

Leaking

A small leak can end up costing hundreds of dollars in extra utility costs over the course of one full year. According to P4P, a dripping faucet and leaking pipe over time can lead to extensive damage that requires costly repairs. It might not seem important to hire a professional to take care of that small leak that you have going on but think about how big of a problem this can become in a short amount of time.

Hot Water Heater Issues

If you have a problem happening with your water heater, there are some signs you should look out for. According to Erie Insurance, one sign that shows that it might be broken is that you might notice your water isn’t as hot as usual. You might also not have hot water for as long as you typically do. You could also see physical leaks or problems going on with the tank. You could avoid having to replace your entire tank if you focus on these repairs right away.

There are likely many different plumbing contractors in your area. If you’re experiencing any plumbing issues like leaks, changes in water pressure or problems with your hot water, you can utilize a professional to help you. You want to make sure that these issues are taken care of in a timely manner, but you also want to be sure that they are fixed correctly the first time that they are repaired. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

What You Should Know About Flipping Real Estate

What to invest in is a common dilemma when you want to grow your assets. Some go the route of the stock market while others think that real estate is the right direction for investing. Purchasing real estate to upgrade and resell may seem easy, but there is a lot involved to have success in this endeavor. Here is some information you may want to consider.

It Takes Work—a Lot of Work

Buying real estate to flip has a ladder of challenges to climb from research and the actual purchase to the completion of the resale of the property. After all the paperwork is finished, and you have the keys in your hand, the real work is about to begin. The property will need an upgrade to please savvy buyers. The most often looked at qualities of a property are, according to HOMEiA, the size of the land, the location, and the number and size of the major rooms (Bedroom and bathroom). This requires basic knowledge of landscaping, exterior, and interior design, current trends as well as electrical and plumbing codes.

Buy Low, Sell High

The only way to make any money is to know the area real estate market in which you want to invest. Deals are out there, but many times, there may be a catch. Search for bankruptcies, properties that are in disrepair or estate auctions for deals. Passive Income MD recommends caution however, as competition can be incredibly stiff, particularly for first time investors.Have a budget in mind, and stick to it.

Proper Investing Is Long Term

House flipping is not a “get rich quick” way of making money. Estate Surplus explains that real estate is nothing like the stock market, and the market behaves totally different as well. If you hear anyone say there is a trick that can make you get rich quickly with real estate and beat out people who have been at it for decades, then they are most likely trying to scam you. Investing in real estate is different than house flipping, but each of the challenges produces a profit over time. They are long-term investments that require money to stay invested over a long period of time.

So many things can affect the housing market, as well as the lending market, that lag times can occur. Be sure that your budget costs stay in line with the market value of your renovated home. If you have success with flipping a home, the next hard question is, do I want to make money this way again? House flipping is profitable over the long haul if you feel you are suited for it.

New to the flipping market:? Have a property you just don’t know what to do with? Contact us today for a free estimate, and we’ll be happy to work with you making your flipping experience fantastic!

Different Ways to Sell Your House When You Need to Move

Moving can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Not only are you in the process of finalizing papers for your new home, but you also have to worry about your current living situation. Although it can be quite frustrating and a little scary, there are, in fact, a variety of ways to sell your home fast. Consider including these the next time you find yourself in this situation.

Hire an Agent

Hiring a real estate agent to sell your home for you can be the quickest way. Not only do they already know the ins and outs of the current real estate market, but they may also already have a couple of buyers in mind. In addition, real estate agents are great at taking flattering pictures of your property as well as describing it in the best possible manner. The only con to hiring an agent is that they will usually take a large portion of the value of the home as a commission for their work.

Stage It Yourself

If you rather keep 100% or at least a larger part of the profits, than staging your home on your own may be your best bet. Staging a home is one of the most important things a seller can do in order to captivate the imagination of potential buyers. Through an open house, you are able to not only show them how each room can be utilized but how they can add their personal touch to it. It should be noted, however, that you must remove all personal items from your home during the open house. This means removing hobby items that may make it look cluttered and of course, any personal pictures of you and your family. After all, you want your buyers to picture themselves in your home, not your own family.

Sell Quickly

There are many reasons someone might want to sell their house quickly for cash. Either they need to begin work within another city, or they are already moving into another house. Nevertheless, the reason is plentiful. The real question is, how do you do it? One of the best ways to sell a home fast and for cash is to sell it to a real estate investor. Investors are some of the best ways to sell a home fast. This is because they understand that time is money and will most likely not live in it themselves. Just make sure that all your paperwork is in order; this is where patience truly matters. When sudden job offers or other issues arise, often people might need to sell their homes fast. The strategies listed above are a great place to start. It is, however, highly recommended that you conduct your own research as vary from circumstance to circumstance.

What You Can Do to Help Your Home Withstand Potentially Dangerous Weather Conditions

If you live in an area that’s prone to severe weather, you need to be prepared. Dangerous weather conditions are your home’s worst enemy. In order to keep the damage to a minimum, you need to take action before the storm hits and know what to do when those inevitable bad weather conditions arrive.

Rain and Sleet

When people think of bad weather, they usually just think of rain, and while that’s true, there’s one other factor to consider: sleet. Unlike rain, which is virtually harmless unless it reaches flood levels, the same can’t be said for sleet. Sleet is similar to regular precipitation, except rather than being raindrops, it’s mixed with ice. To prepare for sleet, make sure you inspect your gutters and clean them if necessary, take a look at your roof to see if there’s any potential for ice buildup, disconnect any hoses you may have and keep your attic insulated. In addition, be aware of the damage sleet does to a roof, so you can help prevent this problem from happening.

Wind

A storm can be more than just rain or sleet. It can be a very strong wind instead. Moving air may sound relatively harmless, but people who live in Florida know that it’s not. Strong winds are able to hurl and carry debris, which can not only harm you, but cause irreparable damage as well. If strong enough, the wind can literally blow the roof off of your house. Obviously, you want to keep that from happening. The first step is to make sure your roof is reinforced. After that, secure your doors, cover the windows and have a backup generator just in case you lose power.

Heat

Florida may be the land of sunshine, but during a heat wave, the temperatures can soar to over 100 or more. Keeping your home cool during the hottest of days protects you and your family. Make sure to keep your curtains and blinds closed during the hottest part of the day. You should also avoid cooking unless it’s early morning or late evening. The idea is to keep your home at a moderate temperature to prevent your air conditioning from running around the clock. Harsh weather conditions can be rough to deal with, especially since they can appear on such short notice. However, with the right preparations, the storm or heatwave will pass and your home will remain intact. Stay vigilant, be proactive and stay prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

Of course one of the best ways to protect the exterior of your home is to add a nice coat of paint. Contact us today to see how our paint can not only protect your home, but also livin up your exterior!